Contact Information

(267) 519-4773
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Hong Wang


Associate Member, Monell Chemical Senses Center


Ph.D., Molecular Biology; Yale University

Research Summary

Chemosensory disorders substantially impact the quality of life. Impairment of taste and smell contributes to malnutrition, cachexia, and depression in a large percentage of cancer and AIDS patients. In spite of the rapid progress in identifying chemosensory receptors and signaling molecules, the mechanisms of chemosensory disorders remain largely unknown and there is a lack of specific and effective treatment for these disorders. Thus, the primary focus of our laboratory is to identify the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying chemosensory disorders. In addition, we are actively pursuing the bidirectional interactions between chemosensory signaling and immune responses in oral and extra-oral tissues.

Our current research projects include: (1) taste abnormalities in animal models of inflammatory diseases; (2) expression and signaling of inflammatory cytokines and innate immune receptors in the chemosensory systems; (3) regulation of taste bud cell degeneration and regeneration; (4) mechanisms of taste alterations during cancer chemotherapy; and (5) functions of chemosensory receptor signaling in immune responses and inflammatory diseases.


Neuroimmunology, inflammation, taste and smell disorders, aging, taste progenitor and stem cells, taste signaling, gene expression

Recent Publications

Du, Y.; Liu, Q.; Luo, X.; Zhao, D.; Xue, J.; Feng, P.; Margolskee, R.F.; Wang, H.; Huang, L. (2018) Effect of taste signaling protein abolishment on gut inflammation in an inflammatory bowel disease model. Journal of Visualized Experiments, 141. doi: 10.3791/58668.

Feng, P.; Chai, J.; Yi, H.; Redding, K.; Margolskee, R.F.; Huang, L.; Wang, H. (2018) Aggravated gut inflammation in mice lacking the taste signaling protein α-gustducin. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 71, 23-27

Li, X.; Huang, L.; Wang, N.; Yi. H.; Wang, H. (2018) Sulfur dioxide exposure enhances Th2 inflammatory responses via activating STAT6 pathway in asthmatic mice. Toxicology Letters, 285, 43-50.

Wang, H.; Jaen, C.; Yoshikawa, K.; Haneoka, J.; Saito, N.; Nakamura, J.; Adappa, N.D.; Cohen, N.A.; Dalton, P. (2018) Cytokine profile in human olfactory cleft mucus and associated changes in olfactory function. bioRxiv 332395 [Preprint]. Posted May 28, 2018. Available from doi:

Yoshikawa, K.; Wang, H.; Jaen, C.; Haneoka, M.; Saito, N.; Nakamura, J.; Adappa, N.D.; Cohen, N.A.; Dalton, P. (2018) The human olfactory cleft mucus proteome and its age-related changes. Scientific Reports 8, 17170. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-35102-2.

Feng, P.; Jotaki, M.; Kim, A.; Chai, J.; Simon, N.; Zhou, M.; Bachmanov, A.; Huang, L.; Wang, H. (2015) Regulation of bitter taste responses by tumor necrosis factor. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 49, 32-42.

Feng, P.; Chai, J.; Zhou, M.; Simon, N.; Huang, L.; Wang, H. (2014) Interleukin-10 is produced by a specific subset of taste receptor cells and critical for maintaining structural integrity of mouse taste buds. Journal of Neuroscience, 34, 2689-2701.

Feng, P.; Huang, L.; Wang, H. (2014) Taste bud homeostasis in health, disease, and aging. Chemical Senses, 39, 3-16.

Li, F.; Ponissery-Saidu, S.; Yee, K.K.; Wang, H.; et. al (2013) Heterotrimeric G protein subunit Gγ13 is critical to olfaction. Journal of Neuroscience, 33, 7975-7984.

Feng, P.; Zhao, H.; Chai, J.; Huang, L.; Wang, H. (2012) Expression and secretion of TNF-α in mouse taste buds: a novel function of a specific subset of type II taste cells. PLoS ONE, 7, e43140.

Kim, A.; Feng, P.; Ohkuri, T.; Sauers, D.; Cohn, Z.J.; Chai, J.; Nelson, T.; Bachmanov, A.A.; Huang, L.; Wang, H. (2012) Defects in the peripheral taste structure and function in the MRL/lpr mouse model of autoimmune disease. PLoS ONE, 7, e35588.

Cohn, Z.J.; Kim, A.; Huang, L.; Brand, J.G.; Wang, H. (2010) Lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammation attenuates taste progenitor cell proliferation and shortens the life span of taste bud cells. BMC Neuroscience, 11, 72.

Wang, H.; Iguchi, N.; Rong, Q.; Zhou, M.; Ogukunorode, M.; Inoue, M.; Pribitkin, E.A.; Bachmanov, A.A.; Margolskee, R.F.; Pfeifer, K.; Huang, L. (2009) Expression of the voltage-gated potassium channel KCNQ1 in mammalian taste bud cells and the effect of its null-mutation on taste preferences. Journal of Comparative Neurology, 512, 384-398.

Wang, H.; Zhou, M.; Brand, J.G.; Huang, L. (2007) Inflammation activates the interferon signaling pathways in taste bud cells. Journal of Neuroscience, 27, 10703-10713.

Li, X.; Li, W.; Wang, H.; Cao, J.; Maehashi, K.; Huang, L.; Bachmanov, A.A.; Reed, D.R.; Legrand-Defretin, V.; Beauchamp, G.K.; Brand, J.G. (2005) Pseudogenization of a sweet receptor gene accounts for cats’ indifference toward sugar. PLoS GENETICS, 1, 27-35.

Wang, H.; Liao, H.; Ochani, M.; Justiniani, M.; Lin, X.; Yang, L.; Al-Abed, Y.; Wang, H.; Metz, C.; Miller, E.J.; Tracey, K.J.; Ulloa, L. (2004) Cholinergic agonists inhibit HMGB1 release and improve survival in experimental sepsis. Nature Medicine, 10, 1216-1221.

Wang, H.; Yu, M.; Ochani, M.; Amela, C.; Tanovic, M.; Susarla, S.; Li, J-H.; Wang, H-C.; Yang, H.; Ulloa, L.; Al-Abed, Y.; Czura, C.; Tracey, K.J. (2003) Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor alpha 7 subunit is an essential regulator of inflammation. Nature, 421, 384-388.